Machining-shop owner builds Craftsman dream home
December 15, 2006
Gary Eckman’s office is right outside two powerful machining centers, which hum with activity 16 hours a day. The white noise fills Eckman Industries – that, and the slight odor of metalworking. But his mind is on business growth and on the development of his 3,300-square-foot dream home in Genoa.
Eckman is the owner and founder of a machine shop that recently expanded to Nevada from the Bay area. The Mound House shop produces 8,200 pieces a week, or 420,000 parts per year, for the trucking industry, everything from a half-pound door handle to a 60-pound front suspension for garbage trucks.
Eckman, 53, describes his love as watching his business grow.
“When I started out, I had two employees and two pieces of conventional machinery,” he said. “So growing the business has been my goal. I’ve grown it up to 25 employees and 12 computer-controlled machine centers.”
Eckman Industries Nevada is in a 10,000-square-foot building across the street from its sole customer, Production Pattern & Foundry. Eckman’s seven workers produce aluminum parts for the foundry.
Eckman invested about $645,000 in the site and another $700,000 in equipment. The foundry parts are used to build trucks in the U.S., Mexico and Australia. Eckman’s shop in Richmond, Calif., produces steel parts that are used by mining, oil and trucking industries.
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Eckman calls his desk his home, but his real home away from work is under construction in Genoa.
Eckman is building the Craftsman home with his wife of 25 years, Pat, who is the business’ office manager.
“We choose the location because it’s just at the treeline of the Sierra. The property overlooks all of Carson Valley. If you saw it, you’d go ‘wow.'”
The other thing that brings a smile to Eckman’s face is his 19-year-old daughter, Katy, a sophomore at the University of California, Chico. He calls her “daddy’s little girl.”
Any hope of her coming into the family business?
No, he says. Katy Eckman is pursuing a degree in communications. He has other people in mind for taking over the business when he retires.
“We hope Nevada gives us opportunity for growth. We want to expand beyond Production Pattern & Foundry.”
Nevada is great for both business and retirement, he added.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.